- Author: Molinaro, Ursule
- Binding: Clothbound, sewn, jacketed
- Pages: 240
- Size: 5-1/2 x 8-1/2"
- Pub. Year: 2000
- ISBN: 0-929701-59-3
- In Stock: Yes
For this trilogy of short novels--her first new book in six years--Ursule Molinaro drew upon a wealth of sources (including Balzac, Flaubert, and Hildegard of Bingen) to transform the grotesqueries of our time into timeless tales.
Angel on Fire presents Clara Corvo, who was born with three peculiarities--a cloven hoof, phenomenal intelligence, and clairvoyance. Her mother finds her unbearable, and to escape her family takes a young student as a lover. When six-year-old Clara matriculates at Harvard Law School, an almost classical conclusion is inevitable.
In twenty letters gathered for the pending canonization of Jacob Erskine Wooster, a picture emerges not of humility but of large contraditions in an ordinary man whose beatification is as strange as his life. Saint Boy is Diane Arbus in prose.
In April in Paris, Molinaro spins Southern gothic into French embroidery. An American woman out of her element wherever she happens to be.
"What good fortune to have three new novels, as exquisitely unruly as ever, from our grande dame of innovative fiction. Ursule Molinaro, wonderfully undiminished in her powers after four decades, has given us one thoroughly modern mother as willful as Clytemnestra, one unpleasant old Southern belle off on her geriatric adventures, and a cunning update of the epistolary form, all in one handy volume I think of as The Portable, Indispensable Molinaro."--JAIMY GORDON
"These stinging comedies of manners go right to the root of contemporary hypocrisy. Molinaro's gaze is unflinching, yet hyperaesthetic. Her kaleidoscopic prose and wry humor make for rich, effortless reading."--BRUCE BENDERSON
"Ursule Molinaro's new book is a suite of three sharply satirical novellas, and the title appropriately describes all three protagonists, whose actions range from the diabolical to the operatic. The first novella, "Angel on Fire," is about Clara, an extraordinary 5-year-old with a full measure of demonic qualities, most notably a cloven hoof and an unforgivably precocious intellect. Her mother is unable to love her; not knowing what else to do, she sends her little daughter off to Harvard, where Clara immediately starts working on her doctoral disseration. In "Saint Boy," twin sister journalists appeal to the public for supporting letters in their campaign to win sainthood for an obscure artist named Jacob Erskine Wooster, who is said to have attended their school in California. The final novella, "April in Paris," follows the tragic footsteps of a woman named April who returns to her native Virginia after 50 years in Paris. April isn't sure how to live in a country that has changed so radically in her absence; in her view, gentility has turned into bigotry. Molinaro has a fine instinct for the grotesque, and a talent for providing laughter in the midst of tears; we are told, for example, that Wooster regularly whipped his daughter, not out of sadism but because "they had lost all other means of communication."
-- William Ferguson New York Times Book Review (June 25, 2000)
Ursule Molinaro wrote thirteen published novels, a score of widely produced one-act plays, three volumes of non-fiction, and hundreds of short stories. Her novels and stories have been published in England, France, and Japan, as well as the U.S. Recipient of awards and fellowships...
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